A tale of two UX thought leaders

One of my favorite UX thought leaders has turned to writing exclusively about AI. He’s absolutely enamored with it.

This makes me wonder about his previous work and whether it had much depth at all. At least for the stuff I do in UX, AI is embarrassingly superficial and amateurish. But for the type of person who likes Miro boards and presentations more than actually working, I can see the appeal.

Long ago, the first programming book I remember reading was called Automate the Boring Stuff, and I still think that’s the ethos of most programming and even LLMs. I don’t think I’m automating enough of the boring stuff at work, say processing hundreds of keys, fiddling with multiple CMSes, or manually checking dozens of flows in Figma for a straggling inconsistency. But actual content design or information architecture? No way. I’ve yet to see any real applications of AI there.

Incidentally, the latest pean to AI from this guy was right next to another design thought leader’s post in my RSS feed: How To Use An Experience Portfolio To Plan Your Career. I’ve been thinking about this a lot, since so much of my job is off label, something more of a meandering product designer, project manager, content strategist with a fair bit of grunt work for good measure. Among content designers, this is fairly typical, but it’s still hard to put together a portfolio.

Coming back on topic, it’s almost to the point that anyone obsessed with AI is simply screaming that they have given up all independent thought.

I’m not ready to throw in the towel.